Women and men should be paid the same if they do the same job. It sounds obvious, but in reality it doesn’t happen. In 1997, when records began, the difference was a very alarming 17.4%.
Since entering government my Lib Dem colleagues and I have worked hard to reduce the gender pay gap to the lowest ever level (9.4%). This is welcome, but there is much more to do.
The Lib Dems want to close the gap completely, just as we have eliminated other inequalities between men and women.
Our introduction of Shared Parental Leave has made it easier for parents to care for their children. Older men and women will receive the same basic state pension from 2016. There are now many more women on company boards. All Lib Dem commitments, all delivered.
We want to go further – our manifesto for next year includes a roadmap to ending pay inequality completely.
We will make it a legal requirement for companies employing more than 250 people to publish their average pay for male and female workers.
With this simple change, staff will be able to see whether they are treated the same as their colleagues. Shoppers will know whether a company has a pay bias against women.
The pressure from both sides will force employers to account for, and abolish, any gender pay gap. Equal work should mean equal pay.